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Disgruntled bassist

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ChildoftheKorn, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. ChildoftheKorn


    May 21, 2003
    Yes we have all had this problem one time or another....the lack of luster to play. It seems like your really improving untill you his one of thse slumps.

    With my band being on hold now (great time right? It wont be another 2 montsh ebfore we can do gigs) this Bass depression seemed to have come out of nowhere.

    Im right in the middle of learning therory and now even the circle of fifths seem to bore me....maybe i just need a new bass?

    Any suggetsions to help me pull my self up out of this one?
  2. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Play stuff you enjoy; try cutting put the theory for a couple days and just noodle, or have a totally improvised jam with another musician. Basically anything that will keep you on your toes.
  3. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    So try being a musician and using the time to
    learn new music.

    Chart up the songs you'd like your next band to cover,
    the stuff you want to play, walk in with a portfolio,
    not an, 'I am lazy right now attitude...'

    What do you have to offer your next band, get
    to work on it now, maybe you will have to lead a band
    to make one work.

    Same work ethic ...

    Bass player alert ...
  4. Keep your Passion, remember why you enjoy playing bass. Every crappy show is going to test you, but there's more good than bad, and everything is what you make it.

    I hate to make like one of those kitten "just hang in there" posters, but everything lies within YOU.
  5. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    I go in slumps too. At times i feel like i can almost be anything, then a few days later i will feel like a beginner again. Then I start to feel like i can do anything again, then i see someone else plays who is really good and get discouraged, then practice harder....then the cycle starts over again. I think we all go though a cycle kind of like this.

    My biggest problem latly is i get sick of hearing myself play, i mean i keep playing the same things over and over and over. Anyone else get this problem?

    Ive also been busy latly so i have been going days at a time without touching the bass, which is unusual for me. Your best best is just stick with it during the slumps, thats when you will improve the most.
  6. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    You're definitely not alone there. I almost said the exact same thing. Get outta my head! :p

    Anyway, here's my advice:
    Like it was said before, try new things. But by "new things", I don't mean for you to go relieve some GAS. :p You'll have the same feeling even with a new piece of equipment.

    Seriously, though, take a break from theory and do whatever it is that brings you the most joy. I hate being "between bands," and I know it's the main cause of the depression I get quite frequently. My favorite things to do these days are playing along with CDs, noodling, and creating lines to guitar tracks I record on a crappy boombox.

    I hope you find a cure, dude. Good luck. :)
  7. transcribe some gary willis lines, keeps me on my toes
  8. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    I don't even try learning songs anyone. I just play around with the strings and work on the finger and hand techniques (ive only been playing a year), and i make up my own stuff. I never really had the patients to look at a tab sheet and learn that way, so i figured i'd just get good doing what i do and then be able to play songs by ear. I'm finally starting to get to the point where i can learn this way. Of course the songs won't be played exactly like the original, but i suppose that dosn't matter.

    For playing over a year now i sadly know very few songs, i guess thats when i get frustrated the most. I really should start learning some songs, but i just have much more fun making stuff up.
  9. Two things:

    Since you have tiime now, why don't you take some lessons?


    I've taken one class already, and am currently taking a second. Adam Nitti taught the last one and this one too. It's unbelievably good and very effective... you will improve if you take one, trust me.

    I'd also recommend a book to you. This book helped me get out of a slump that I had, and I read it again whenever I feel stagnation set in. It's called Effortless Mastery, and it's all about the psychological aspects of muscianship. You can get it off of Amazon.com for about $20. Worth every penny...
  10. b15fliptop

    b15fliptop Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Wow. I'm glad I read this thread. I ordered the "Effortless Mastery" book, and MusicDojo looks really cool. Thanks MacheteJames!

  11. no problem... :D
  12. dace


    Dec 25, 2000
    sydney, australia
    korn, i know exactly what you're going through. i went through a slump like that around 3 years ago.

    to keep bass playing interesting you need to stay open minded.

    try listen to as many styles of music as you can. increased exposure will hopefully give you more musical ideas that you might want to try.

    just because you're playing the bass doesn't mean that you should only play bass lines. try work out ways of transcribing the lines of other instruments onto the bass.

    finally i would say try listen to some of the really innovative bass players out there. off the top of my head i would recommend jaco (of course), michael manring, mark egan and steve lawson. you'll be astounded by what these guys are capable of doing on a bass.

    its kinda ironic that other musicians and the public in general tend to believe that the bass has a narrow application in music, but i think in fact that it is the instrument with the most versitility and potential. but then again i'm biased :D
  13. Funkize you

    Funkize you Guest

    Nov 4, 2003
    Westminster Ca.
    I was gonna say find a good instructor...
  14. Jonki

    Jonki I will not slap my Bee!

    Oct 14, 2003
    Arendal, Norway
    this happens exactly to me also. :crying:

    but one thing can help, by convicing yourself that you could do it! just ignore the bad feelings. ;)
  15. Bass of Galt

    Bass of Galt Guest

    Mar 25, 2004
    Scrotillia Falls
    "Slumps" are a natural part of every endeavor. It can't be UP all the time. There will always be a cycle of growth and plateau.

    "Slumps" or - plateaus are as much an opportunity to improve as learning a new way to finger an old familiar line.

    Respect and ACCEPT your slump. Once you accept that it IS - you stop resisting it. Resisting causes friction and friction results in pain (emotional=guilt, depression - or physical pain) Resistance will only deepen and intensify your slump and you negative feelings about it.

    If you can - avoid trying for FORCE your way out of a slump. Simply let everything you've learned sink in - you won't forget it - you wont get worse - you won't "loose" skills. Did you ever feel the need to take a vacation from work? Well - you need a vacation from creation as well. You need to fill the mental well again.

    I've often simply stopped playing for long stretches and came back when it felt right. Almosty everytime I made what seemed like dramatic advances within a few weeks of taking time off.

    You cannot force inspiration into existence. Give yourself time - don't beat yourself up or create guilt for not playing or even wanting to play - and remember - buying new stuff won't fill the void.

    You need new ideas - not new stuff.

    peace yo. :)
  16. ChildoftheKorn


    May 21, 2003
    thanks ever one who posted im still in a slump...im going to order that effortless mastery book, i needed some new material anyway. again thanks ;)
  17. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Good! Sounds like a very useful book...I might have to check that out myself.

    In any case, I had one from November to about...heck, I'd say January? I'm not sure. Anyway...for me, inspiration comes from adversity, so for the past couple weeks (hardcore crunchtime for musical and school), I've been sick, stressed, and personal relationships with everyone I know have been stretched to the breaking point. Consequently, I've been playing my bass more than ever, better than ever, and more creatively than ever. Whatever works!